What is Solvent: Definition and 83 Discussions

A solvent (from the Latin solvō, "loosen, untie, solve") is a substance that dissolves a solute, resulting in a solution. A solvent is usually a liquid but can also be a solid, a gas, or a supercritical fluid. Water is a solvent for polar molecules and the most common solvent used by living things; all the ions and proteins in a cell are dissolved in water within the cell.
The quantity of solute that can dissolve in a specific volume of solvent varies with temperature. Major uses of solvents are in paints, paint removers, inks, dry cleaning. Specific uses for organic solvents are in dry cleaning (e.g. tetrachloroethylene); as paint thinners (toluene, turpentine); as nail polish removers and solvents of glue (acetone, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate); in spot removers (hexane, petrol ether); in detergents (citrus terpenes); and in perfumes (ethanol). Solvents find various applications in chemical, pharmaceutical, oil, and gas industries, including in chemical syntheses and purification processes.

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  1. kneo123

    Suitable condenser for dichloromethane solvent

    Hello. I have an interest in aquiring a soxhlet extractor glassware kit for experimentation and learning. Something small like with a 250ml flask. Not sure what geometry of condenser to go for, Graham Allihn, straight or else. I will be using dichloromethane as a solvent and would like to...
  2. E

    Solvent Effects on Carbazole-Based Hole Transporting Materials

    Hello everybody , In my research study, i am focusing the interprete the effect of solvent on opticals propertie of carbazole based hole transporting materials ,In order to dissolve this materials in different Concentration of solvents ; I have been using Toluene , chlorobenzene and...
  3. H

    Nucleophilicity of Halogens in aprotic solvent

    I know that in protic solvents I- is a strong nucleophile and F- is a poor nucleophile due to solvolysis. But why should I- become a poor nucleophile in an aprotic solvent and F- become a strong nucleophile in aprotic solvent? Why this reversal of nucleophilicity i.e., F->,Cl->,Br->,I-> ?
  4. Frankenstein19

    Equilibrium distribution of a solvent in two immiscible solvents

    Homework Statement I need to find the distribution coefficients for acetic acid of various concentrations in a ether/water system, but I'm not too sure of my calculations Homework Equations To get the concentrations of acetic acid in the aqueous phase I took the ([average concentration of...
  5. J

    Making perovskite solar cell crystals w/o heating

    I'm a high schooler involved in a research in which we aim to grow perovskite crystals in microgravity. I've recently come across this article (https://scitechdaily.com/researchers-develop-a-better-method-for-making-perovskite-solar-cells/) in which they explain how to grow better perovskite...
  6. H

    Solvent Extraction question at different pH levels

    The question I have been given: Draw the dominant forms of each of the compounds below and state which, if any, would be expected to extract from aqueous solution into hexane at (a) pH 12 and (b) pH 2. CH3CH2COOH CH3CH2NH2 CH3CH2CH2OH H2NCH2CH2COOH From my understanding, I can tell what the...
  7. Enigman

    Looking for a low boiling point solvent for MAPI precursors

    Things I have thought of till now: Acetonitrile with HI additive Acetonitrile with DMSO additive The problem with the first would be that HI is in an around 55% aqueous solution and water doesn't play well with the perovskite. Meanwhile, the second might end up needing enough DMSO to...
  8. A

    Universal Solvent Riddle: What is in the Beaker?

    i once heard a riddle reguarding "universal solvent" it goes something like, " a scientist is holding a beaker and says he's discovered a universal solvent, whats in the beaker?" the usual answer is water. a wiseacre might say it melted through so nothing my question is wether time could be...
  9. marcophys

    What breaks down burnt carbon deposits?

    I have an aerosol based 'oven, and chimney cleaning' product. Here are the contents: Aqua Propylene Glycol Butane Ethanolamine Cocamide DEA Propane Sodium Hydroxide Sodium Laureth Sulfate Xanthan Gum Parfum From the list, it appears that the only active ingredient is Sodium Hydroxide...
  10. H

    Mass of solute + solvent = mass of solution?

    Homework Statement 10g of CaFl2 is disolved in 100 grams of water, what is mass/mass concentration Homework Equations c = mass of solute/mass of solution The Attempt at a Solution Would it be 10/100 = 0.1 or 10/110 = 0.091
  11. V

    What home based solvent might dissolve unknown molecular particles?

    What home based solvent might dissolve an unknown electron microscope seen insoluble particles ? There are some sort of unknown insoluble particles in our water. Does anyone know of any home remedy acid solution (baking soda and vinegar) that might dissolve these particles ? Please keep in...
  12. Hyo X

    Why nonpolar solvent "picks up" water?

    Most solvents we use in the laboratory have some shelf life. Experimental example: Say you have a 4L bottle of anhydrous toluene and you regularly pour out/use small volumes of it over the course of a year. One year from opening date, you have 1L of toluene left. Will this toluene still be...
  13. Conservation

    Nucleophilicity with respect to the solvent

    I am currently studying nucleophilicity of molecules and am getting a set of conflicting information, so I wanted to clarify nucleophilicity trends with respect to solvent. The link below discusses how nucleophilicity increases down the periodic table with protic solvents and decreases down the...
  14. C

    Which solvent is the best choice?

    Homework Statement I want to extract and quantify lipids inside the starch. Which solvents you recommend for the extraction? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution
  15. mishima

    Solvent for cinnamaldehyde extraction?

    People seem to use DCM (dichloromethane) for this, but I was wondering if trichlroroethylene would also work.
  16. Titan97

    Solvent effect in ambident nucleophiles

    If nucleophile is ambident and solvent is polar aprotic, more electronegative atom is free to attack the substrate. Since more electronegative atom is a hard base, it forms a stronger bond with hard acids like carbocation. This promotes formation of carbocation by substrate. Hence, SN1 reaction...
  17. A

    Detecting drug in ethanol solvent using UV-Vis

    Hey Everyone, I'm having trouble detecting my drug dissolved in ethanol using UV-Vis spectroscopy. The peak absorbance of the drug is at 240 nm while the peak absorbance of the ethanol seems to be around 190 nm. Are these peaks too close to each other to get an accurate measurement? In the...
  18. Y

    What is the coffee ring of toluene and hexane?

    When we drop a coffee droplet and wait for it to evaporate, there is a coffee ring left. Because there is coffee dissolved in the solution, and when water can evaporate into the air, the coffee cannot evaporate and it will stay. Therefore, if we drop one DI water droplet onto the substrate...
  19. C

    What is the best solvent for removing bentonite clay?

    Hello, Can anyone recommend a good solvent for sodium bentonite? I have used it as a sealant, and I need to remove it. Would it be better to dehydrate it with heat before trying to dissolve it?
  20. Elvis 123456789

    Grams of solute needed to lower vapor pressure of solvent?

    Homework Statement Some KCl is dissolved in water at 25°C, where it completely dissociates. The vapor pressure of pure water at 25°C is 28.3 mmHg. Estimate the mass in grams of KCl needed per liter of pure water to reduce the vapor pressure of water at 25°C by 5%. Homework EquationsThe Attempt...
  21. A

    Ethanol Extraction for Food Flavors: Natural or Synthetic?

    I'm curious, in many flavors used in food (such as vanilla extract and other "natural flavors"), ethanol is used as a solvent to extract the flavors. Is this ethanol synthetic ethanol, or do companies normally get it from the wine/beer industries?
  22. E

    Will (NH4)HCO3 Form in Polar Solvents?

    I know aqueous Ammonium Bicarbonate forms when NH4+ and HCO3- ions are present in water after they've dissolved from their gaseous states of NH3(g) and CO2(g). This occurs in the reaction: NH3(g) + H2O(l) + CO2(g) => (NH4)HCO3(aq) If Ammonia gas and CO2 are present above a polar organic...
  23. O

    Calculating mass of a solvent in a mixture, given volume and molality?

    Say for example you have take a sample of 500ml from a bulk saline solution (NaCl and H20). If you know that for every 100 grams of water there is 10 grams of NaCl, can you calculate the amount of NaCl in 500ml of the final mixture?
  24. N

    Constructing a Dip Coater: Does Elevating Solvent Make a Difference?

    We are constructing a dip coater in our laboratory. But because of the disparity between the lowest and highest speed it was suggeted that maybe the initial dipping could be performed by keeping the sample ( ie substrate to be dipped) stationary and elevating the solution until the sample is...
  25. O

    GPC - Polymer solvent compatibility

    Homework Statement Given for polystyrene K = 1.6x10^5 and a = 0.71 and for PVC K = 1.5x10^5 and a = 0.77 a universal calibration curve has been created from PS and the molar mass of PVC at a certain elution volume has been calculated. The part I'm not sure on is the question: Show which of...
  26. Q

    How Does Raoult's Law Apply to Calculating Vapor Pressure in Solutions?

    Homework Statement http://i.minus.com/juL6gvGzvWdm.png Homework Equations Raoult's law: Pressure of solution = Mole fraction of solvent multiplied by vapor pressure of pure solvent. We're assuming non-volatile solutes. The Attempt at a Solution My solution...
  27. S

    Which solvent is best for dissolving graphene flakes?

    Hi, I got a graphene dispersion on ebay but the graphene flakes cumulated at the bottom of the bottle. I'm trying to mix it and then solve in water using an ultrasonic cleaner but the flakes do not dissolve in water? How can I dissolve it so that I can obtain a large scale graphene by...
  28. Q

    Why Solvent is essential for Life?

    Water solvent is usually considered and essential basis for any Life in the Universe. Recently other solvents have been considered (eg Ammonia), but maybe we could come up with an idea of life that doesn't need solvent at all? As far as I understand solvent is need mainly as medium of...
  29. D

    Protocol and solvent help needed for gel-permeation chromatography

    So I have been asked to separate a polymer (polyurethane) into high molecular weight and low molecular weight components. I have access to Sephadex LH-20, a simple glass column, acetone (a List II chemical), ethyl acetate, and hexane. I may be able to get access to other solvents, as long as it...
  30. S

    Effect of Solvent Polarity on Rf Value in TLC

    How does polarity of the solvent affect the Rf value? I was going over a problem in my book that said that polarity would increase the Rf value of both the polar and nonpolar analyte due to increased solubility. This doesn't make sense to me because wouldn't the solubility of the nonpolar...
  31. A

    Why isnt carbon dioxide a solvent?

    So, CO2 is said to be non polar because of its molecular geometry. However the carbon atom has two positive charges and the oxygens, one partial charge each. Therefore, why doesn't CO2 dissolve ionic molecules like NaCl? We've been taught that a polar molecule is one that can separate ionic...
  32. Kawakaze

    Looking for a Solvent to Dissolve Diazo Resin? Suggestions?

    I am looking for a solvent that can dissolve photo setting resin after it has been hardened. I think it is Diazo resin or something like it. Can anyone suggest something? Thanks!
  33. _maxim_

    Small sphere or cylinder filled by a solvent

    how can I create a spheric glass ball or a closed cylinder containing a solvent as acetone or methanol? the ideal would be without air bubble inside and diameter in the range of 2-4 mm thanx max
  34. K

    Understanding Alcohol as a Solvent in Halogenoalkane Reactions

    Homework Statement When a halogenoalkane reacts with aqueous sodium hydroxide under reflux conditions, an alcohol is formed. However, when the same halogenoalkane reacts with ALCOHOLIC sodium hydroxide under reflux, an alkene is formed (It is an elimination reaction). Now, the problem is...
  35. C

    Calculating how much solvent is needed to dilute 1.5M of Cu(NO3)2

    Hello, I just want to make sure that my calculations are correct before doing an experiment. I need to dilute 250ml of 1.5M Cu(NO3)2 to 0.5M and distilled water is to be used as the solvent. So I'm not sure how much (volume) of distilled water need to be added. I used the equation C1xV1=C2xV2...
  36. strangerep

    Stoddard solvent, Mineral spirit, what's the difference?

    Hi, I'm a 1st-time poster in the chemistry forum. (Only did 1 year of chem at Uni.) I'm trying to understand the content of an organic paint-additive product "Penetrol". http://www.floodaustralia.net/products/paint_additives/penetrol.php The MSDS can be downloaded from this page...
  37. J

    Why is Wine a Solvent but Sugar is Not?

    Why is wine a solvent but sugar is not?
  38. V

    TPR solvent AND home-made UV polymerization

    TPR: I need to find or create a solvent based glue for TPR. Is there something I can purchase that will chemically bond TPR to itself? The application is a simple TPR molded sample we got from china, we had to cut it open to get to the electronics and now we need to glue it back together...
  39. J

    Alcohol Solvents: Dissolving Herbs' Alkaloids & Resins

    Why is alcohol better at dissolving compounds in herbs than water? Such as alkaloids and resins. Can someone explain how it actually does this?
  40. M

    Looking for a solvent for wax (paraffin)

    Really I'm looking for a good carrying agent that will dissolve paraffin wax, but preferably that also evaporates quickly AND doesn't come with serious health concerns. Basically, I'm trying to make a rust inhibitor using paraffin...where it can be applied and then the solvent evaporates...
  41. T

    Vapor Pressure of a pure solvent

    I know that the vapor pressure of a solvent would decrease with a changing concentration if there was an addition of a solute. However, would the vapor pressure change with a changing concentration of the pure solvent (no solute added)?
  42. C

    Hoppe's #9 gun solvent and Potassium Chloride

    Hello, my name is Rudy and this is my first post. I am a gun owner and I am wondering about how to clean my rifle and all the accumulated residue derived from my military surplus ammunition which has Potassium Chloride in the Primers. After shooting the rifle, the Potassium Chloride gets into...
  43. M

    Absorber unit using Selexol solvent

    Hi, I am doing a simulation of Integrated Gasification combined cycle (IGCC). At one point, i need to use Selexol solvent to remove H2S and CO2. Below are my questions, hope you could kindly help me. I am wondering is there a maximum pressure difference (between the top & bottom stage) of...
  44. P

    Sn2 Reactions and Solvent characteristics

    I am having trouble figuring out why this statement is true, especially the bolded sentence: "When the nucleophile and/or electrophile have a formal charge, SN2 reaction rate is fastest when the solvent is of modest polarity. When the nucelophile and electrophile are both neutral, SN2...
  45. R

    Solvent heat up due to gamma ray

    I am planning to use a gamma ray densitometer to measure the local concentration of slurry flow in a pipe loop. Since i am using an organic solvent(flammable) to make the slurry, i am worried that gamma ray passing through it will heat it up significantly and cause hazard. I would like to...
  46. C

    How Can I Separate My Polymer Reaction Product from the THF/Water Mixture?

    Hi chemistry friends, I'm currently working on a reaction to produce the following polymer: Cyclopentadiene functionalized polyketone. I start with polyketone as a reagent and I should end up with the reaction product together with the solvent (THF) and water with NaOH. My question...
  47. T

    Joining PET with PET (nonbranded solvent based please)

    Hi all! I am searching for solvent based liquid glue for adhering 2 transparent PET sheets together. I tried chloroform and dichloromethane, the PET sheets were adhered but resulting of opaque white fog on my transparent PET sheets. Could someone please advice me another nonbranded chemical...
  48. _maxim_

    Cylindrical glass boll (sealed, containing solvent) for RF detector

    Dear all, here's my first request for a little help (maybe also in finding the proper subforum...) I'm working as developer and scientific consultant in a lab for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at high field (> 21 Tesla), and I have to create a suitable probe for checking the stability of a...
  49. N

    Elimination vs substitution & ethanol as a solvent

    Hello! I was looking into haloalkane reactions and the factors which determine the proportion of nucleophilic substitution to elimination reactions. I read that ethanol is more conducive to elimination reactions than substitution reactions, it mentions it being less polar than water, which...